It was quite nice that our meeting at the National Autistic Society Derby Branch this month coincided with Autism Awareness Week. What a lovely meeting which did include some AGM business but that was soon sorted and we all decided to continue as we were for another year....woo hoo!!
It was so good to sit down, relax and have a chat. We were supposed to discuss places to visit as the school holidays are approaching but we ended up discussing our own autism. There were people in the room already diagnosed and some thinking of a diagnosis and it was fun to discover more about each other.
We talked about words we liked and some we disliked, certain routines and the diagnosis process itself. I think even though a couple of us came into the meeting a bit frazzled, tired and just generally stressed, we all left quite relaxed and chilled, a complete contrast. That was support working right there and it was so clear to see it worked.
What great evening and may they continue too, a lot coming up with speakers and workshops to give people that help they may need and lots of useful information.
Thank you for reading today, come back tomorrow for some natter about the telly on Pass the Remote Sunday but for now......
Yes!! We held our first support group of the year as part of the Derby Branch of the National Autistic Society this week. We were back at The Farmhouse Mackworth in Derby who do a wonderful job of providing a venue for us to meet and the atmosphere was so nice.
It's good to back and even better to be here for people to be able to receive support. We started the evening with just one person and then after a few minutes we had so many, our little circle kept getting wider. It's always a bit difficult to know how these little 'get togethers' will work out. Will everyone want to discuss topics as a group or in individual groups? We left it to people having their own small discussions which seem to work out fine.
I think each small group had a representative from the branch with them and I hope they were able to get the help they needed or just a bit of comfort from us all. There were some battles being fought and newly diagnosed family members even some thinking of supporting family members with an approach to a diagnosis so quite a mix of subjects to cover.
We didn't have a speaker this month so it was just a chatting session and when I stood back and looked for moment at this room of people it was so satisfying to be able to provide this as a branch. It's simple really, just a room, a few brews and people who, although don't realise it as parents but are champions and professionals in their own right, whichever stage of the process they are at.
I think Autism can sometimes bring the best out of a situation, yes there are tough times and it was clear listening to peoples stories here but with the power of speech and the camaraderie between us I think we felt we could conqueror battles or certainly try and put each other on the right road to deal with any problems. I love it!
Remember if you are struggling, seek out your own local support group or if you can't find one maybe think about starting your own. You don't need qualifications just a few people to get together and talk. Who knows, when people find out about your small group more people will join you and away you go - a support group. Big or small they work in the same way, you could even meet in a local teashop or cafe so it doesn't need to be expensive by hiring big venues. The people make the groups not so much the location.
Well a great start and I certainly enjoyed it. Thank you so much for reading today. Please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now......
I thought as a new year was approaching that I would share our meeting dates for the Derby Branch of the National Autistic Society. We meet at three places at present in the Derby area with both day and evening times available.
We have a Facebook page which is there to seek more information and to also get in touch if you need to know more. We do update our information regularly and some of our meetings change to accommodate a speaker. So here are our dates for 2019.......
The Farmhouse at Mackworth 60 Ashbourne Rd, Mackworth, Derby DE22 4LY
Tuesday evenings 7pm - 9pm
2nd April - AGM
Ravensdale Junior School 55 Devonshire Dr, Derby DE3 9HB
Friday mornings 9.30am - 10.30am
No April date
The Long Eaton School Thoresby Rd, Long Eaton. NG10 3NP
Thursday mornings 9.45am - 11.00am
No Feb date
No April date
We do provide a nice friendly atmosphere where you can chat with others or come a seek advice in confidence too so please do come along. My son is autistic and was diagnosed at 4 years old, he is now 18 and ever since his diagnosis I have found talking within groups very helpful and still do. My son is now going into adulthood and I feel I will always need to grab advice or just be there to help others in any way I can too.
I hope that helps a little if you are in our area. There are many branches throughout the UK too so go to the main NAS website here and find your local branch.
Thank you for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday for now......
This week we had our last two support groups of this year at the National Autistic Society Derby & District Branch. I can't actually believe we are coming to the end of another year. It was lovely to see people and have some full on discussions.
We make November our last dates as our groups are held in a couple of schools so December gets so busy for them. There are lots of events that take place that naturally parents want to attend so we always give December a rest. We will all be back in January ready for a cuppa and some chat about the Christmas holiday. It is stressful for some as routines get messed around a bit and there is quite a bit going on over the holidays at this time of year.
I do feel that the support groups are a great place to get advice, share ideas or to just generally get things off ones chest. We all have times when things either get to us a bit or we don't know what to do in a certain situation, it can be stressful and upsetting so sitting and chatting can have a massive effect, believe me.
Please don't ever struggle and think you can't talk in front of anyone about your problems, we can sort out a moment to speak to anyone individually at our groups, in private so please don't be put off. You wouldn't believe the amount of friendships that have been created through attending groups. People sometimes tend to meet up, realise they have children at the same school or have a lot in common and then go and meet regularly at other times or do activities together. You need never feel alone.
If you are struggling to find a local group then go to the NAS website and search the Autism Services Directory, you can use this link:
Here you will be able to search for services you require in any part of the country. So give it a try. It is worth it. I come away from our groups learning more and feeling quite strong, as though I can cope and I run the groups so I'm always learning from others too. The thing is I can then go and pass useful information onto other people in other groups and that's how it works.
We will be back in January as I say and if you would like more information about the Derby Branch of the NAS then go to our Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/NASDerbyBranch/
I would just like to thank everyone at our groups for coming along and take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas - see you in 2019 for more chat and of course, a brew or two.
Thank you for reading today. Join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote but for now take care.
It was great to hold our first support group meeting again after the summer holidays. I am with the National Autistic Society Derby and District Branch and we hold various meetings every month but we do tend to have a bit of a break over the holidays mainly because some of our meetings are held at local schools but also that people go away on their holidays and have other commitments too.
We had a lovely get together and I probably find myself repeating myself a lot when I say how great these meetings are. I'm not going to apologise though as I think it's important to tell everyone how useful these meetings can be.
We shared a lot of our personal stories and our current situations and then were able to try and find solutions or at least be able to sign post people to other organisations that would offer further support. There was a lot of talk about diagnosis and how people are still having to wait. In desperation this is leading people to contemplate going private with their referrals or travelling miles to get their selves or their children seen.
This was so frustrating to see and I know the government are wanting to change this but it needs to be sorted quickly as I don't think it is acceptable to wait two years to be seen. There are also some schools who need to receive more training or support especially the smaller sized schools. There are many that are fantastic and are totally on the ball with seeking referrals but I suppose funding for a lot of educational placements is an issue.
We laughed.....shared our frustrations but also good news too and I hope people went away feeling that there were some answers and hope at least. I always worry whether our meetings lack a certain something if we haven't brought in a speaker but it's nice to have a change. I think you can still gather as much information from other people in a similar situation as well as you can from a professional.
So thank you to those people for a lovely meeting, please do get in touch with your local support group and don't feel at all nervous. We are all there to support each other and help, you wouldn't believe just by talking how much stress and anxiety you can release.....it does really help.
To find your local NAS Branch or support group then search on the Autism Services Directory which is located on the main NAS website here;
Thank you for reading today and please join me again tomorrow for some telly talk on Pass the Remote Sunday but for now take care.
I’ve been a part of two very productive support groups this week as part of my role with the Derby and District Branch of The National Autistic Society. We met on Thursday along with two lovely representatives from Relate. They delivered a discussion on Anger and Conflict within Families so we were able to all discuss how Autism has had an impact on our family lives involving the disagreements and conflicts that may have arisen and how we dealt with them or in some cases maybe we didn’t.
It’s not always possible to get things right in any family even without autism, there are always disagreements when you have people with different views and personalities living together. When Autism is added into the mix though this can shake things up in a big way. We can’t always predict when meltdowns are going to happen and sometimes there may be conflicts between family members about how we cope with certain aspects of Autism.
The thing is there are strategies and advice that do work and it’s amazing how these little precious nuggets of advice come out when people get sat around with a cuppa and the odd biscuit. I can’t stress how these little meetings have such a massive impact on families. We even had some feedback at the end of the meeting to confirm that. Someone commented that they were glad these meetings were available as it has made such a difference to them from where they were in their lives to where they are now, a positive transition just by talking.
Our other meeting was yesterday and we were treated to a talk about Social Stories by a local organisation called STePs (Specialist Teaching and Psychology Service). I was surprised how many people didn’t know too much about Social Stories. They can come over as a little complicated to produce but they really are very easy as we proved in a group activity. If you would like more information regarding Social Stories or want to know what they are go to the NAS website here at:
So I will never ever tire of expressing how I feel about support groups. I love being there and helping provide them. Its simple, sometimes we don’t always have a speaker and that’s ok as it gives people the chance to come in, let all their anxieties out and know they are not alone. This could be parents, carers, professionals and those with Autism too. We all need to let off steam and this is still a great way to do it.
To find you local groups and provisions in your local area you can go to the NAS website and search for your preferred support on the Autism Services Directory here.....
and if you are in the Derby area and would like to know more about STePs you can find information here:
Thank you for reading today, pop back tomorrow for my tv feature ‘Pass the Remote’, until then take care.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.